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Pricing projects

 
#1 Pricing projects
05/04/2013 10:39

VicCharlotte

Hello consultants,

So I've managed to find a solar start-up with some projects in the works. The issue is the lack of liquidity at the moment, until the projects go through. I think we can all attest that this means quite a deal of risk and possibly a large reward depending on pricing.

I'll be able to design the business architecture, name/logo/marketing, design the website, pick future target clients, decide how to source instillation resources, basically the works. I want to offer the client something affordable for him, but obviously want to be paid for my work. Equity in the company is less appealing at the moment than cash.

I see there being two parts to my role: first being a consultant who sets up the business and second being more sales oriented and probably involving commission. For the consulting part, I was considering charging based on completion of Deliverables and want pros and cons. General opinions are great.

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#2 RE: Pricing projects
05/04/2013 11:45

marsday to VicCharlotte (#1)

I'll be able to design the business architecture, name/logo/marketing, design the website, pick future target clients, decide how to source instillation resources, basically the works.

Sounds like the client found YOU not the other way around. What does this client bring to the table to balance you bring all this?

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#3 RE: Pricing projects
05/04/2013 11:56

tom1 to VicCharlotte (#1)

This isn't very helpful I know. My concern would be that you're going to be seen as a jack of all trades and someone who can't get into top-tier consulting if you stay in it too long.

I know there were suggestions made in another thread, which I still believe are the best long-term options for you. I truly hope it does work out for you, I'd just be conscious of staying at that firm too long.

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#4 RE: Pricing projects
05/04/2013 15:49

VicCharlotte to marsday (#2)

@Marsday: you're actually correct, I was contacted and not the other way around. It's quite a bit of work and a serious amount of responsibility. The solar guy is a MIT grad and long time professor who has worked off and on in the industry overseeing installations mostly. He's all the technical and has contacts to handle the logistics and suppliers. He can also train an on-ground-team to be operational within a week. Do you think it's an unfair go?

@tom1: I'm weary of this opportunity because of the high risk, but I'm considering doing it as a free-lancer. I have a few years at Deloitte, which is decidedly unimpressive for most on the forum. I know there is a deal of top-tier talent on this page, so that's understandable. This is somewhat of a deviation from the original question, but do you think unfocused free-lance work would hurt my chance to re-enter the top consulting firms?

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#5 RE: Pricing projects
05/04/2013 15:54

marsday to VicCharlotte (#4)

Some sort of lean start up would be advisable, see some projects coming through before commiting to much time to the venture. Perhaps ask to see what factoring has been agreed for invoices to ensure some working capital in the business.

Potentially very interesting and rewarding - but I would want to keep my involvement/investment as needs only until I could see some sort of pipeline of projects. If the founder has the contacts you say he should be able to secure some initial projects without committing to marketing collateral at this stage.

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#6 RE: Pricing projects
05/04/2013 16:02

tom1 to VicCharlotte (#4)

I wouldn't put down your time at Deloitte. People will find fault with whichever company you've come from. I'd take half the advice on here with a pinch of salt.. the other half with all the salt in the world ;)

I'd say free-lancing/operating on a contractor basis your best bet if you are going down this route. For some reason the company you work for is viewed differently if it was only contracting vs permanent. Which has it's negatives for contracting at a big firm and positives for contracting at a smaller firm.

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#7 RE: Pricing projects
05/04/2013 16:09

VicCharlotte to tom1 (#6)

Both Marsday and tom1, I appreciate the advice, salt and all.

If and when some projects come through, how much would you say is a reasonable per hour rate for someone with a little bit of experience but a lot of responsibility? I think it's fair to be paid on the quality of my work, I want to be flexible with the client but still have to be sustained/profitable.

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#8 RE: Pricing projects
21/04/2013 10:28

dtang to VicCharlotte (#7)

Just curious, have you considered payment by profit-sharing or receiving equity?

I've had a 2 consulting clients that were startups. They were probably a bit later stage than your solar client, but in both cases, they paid normal 6-8 week fixed bid.

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